Symbolism In Bartleby The Scrivener

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Faith seems to play a large role in the stories “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and “Young Goodman Brown.” Both Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne seemed to feel fervently about how faith can affect the lives of people, faith being religious based in “Young Goodman Brown” and related to individuality in “Bartleby, the Scrivener.” Both stories employ the main character as an analogy for how certain conditions affect a person negatively, and how some experiences are permanently etched into who a person is in the present, and will become in the future. Bartleby’s experience working in Washington's Dead Letter office essentially led to the demise of his personality and ultimately his person, even before the present situation in the novel. Goodman Brown’s sacrifice of “faith” in the forest near his village led to the loss…show more content…
There is great symbolism using walls in “Bartleby, the Scrivener”. The walls of the Dead Letter office, the narrator’s office, Bartleby’s specific work area and the walls of the prison are used to represent just how deep the profundities of big business and entities like Wall Street go. The harm of an environment that literally engulfs a person physically while draining them emotionally is apparent. Bartleby acted as a conscientious objector of sorts, not outright refusing to do work, but showing his opposition by simply saying “I’d prefer not to.” The walls may also represent a barrier of understanding between humans themselves, with the narrator copiously trying to understand the reasons behind Bartleby’s objections. By the end of the short story, Bartleby had completely given up, losing his will to do anything, even life necessities, like eating, which led to his dismal

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